Please be on the lookout for the Black Swallow-wort (BSW) vine. It’s a non-native invader now infesting Newton. It can be found in many of your yards, hiding in hedges and shrubs and climbing fences. It reduces biodiversity and degrades our environment. Monarch butterflies mistakenly lay their eggs on it, and then their larvae die because they don’t recognize it as food. Later this summer its large seed pods will open, and the wind will disperse the seeds on white fluffy fibers to make the infestation even worse.
The BSW vine has blue-green glossy, opposite leaves, small purple flowers, and large seed pods that hang down like pea pods.
For more photos and information, see the Newton Conservators information on the BSW vine and other invasive plant information on their website (listed under Resources).
You can dig it up, cut it down, or just pull off the seed pods to prevent further spread. Put everything into a bag and into your trash, not into your yard waste, to avoid further spread.
To assist in Newton Conservators group activities to protect Newton’s open spaces and manage invasive species, please email Invasives@newtonconservators.org.